Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lights? Yes. Camera? Yes. Action? Not yet.

My friend, Doug Reilley, is a sales rep for Princeton-TEC and was kind enough to hook me up with an EOS Bike, a Swerve, and a Push. These are all stellar lights and are guaranteed to provide all of the nighttime illumination and safety I need. Thank you Doug and Princeton-TEC! I'm pretty sure that Doug is just trying to seal my fate for his own humor. Ha ha! I haven't gotten to use them on more than a couple of beer runs yet, but soon enough I will be able to wring them out.

I still don't have any exciting action to report yet as I'm still gearing up here in State College. One more week of work is all that stands between me and my travels. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The seeds of an idea

For the longest time I have led people to believe that I hate bikes and biking. Therefore when I initially announced my ideas they were met with skepticism. As I try to trace my motivations I realize that I still intend to take a climbing trip with only a slight change in means of transportation; not a biking trip where I do some climbing. And I don't hate bikes and biking at all. I just occasionally get annoyed with groups of cyclists that begin geeking put in front of me. Just as I can get annoyed with a group of climbers that geek out too. Everyone should take themselves a lot less seriously. Regardless, what ever gave me the idea to ride a bike?

I can trace it back to three instances-

1). In 2006, I met a dude from New Zealand who was biking through the Canadian Rockies. Along the way he would scramble peaks and chill out a lot. He was pretty crusty, smelled bad, and gave me a sample of Vegemite which is probably the worst thing I've ever tasted. Regardless, his experience appeared far more fulfilling than my gasoline powered one.

2). One time my friend Ieva was discussing her dreams and asked me if I wanted to bike to Patagonia from Pennsylvania and then do some climbing. I gave the proposal some though and them responded with the affirmative. I honestly could not think of a better way to spend a year or two of my life. However, we never got to do that.

2). About a year ago I was talking to an outdoor sales representative named Chad. He works an extensive territory in the Rockies. Chad began musing about riding a bike around his territory in order to visit shops and do clinics. He aired the obvious contradiction of promoting the outdoors and the outdoor industry by driving around a large truck all by himself. The plan made complete sense and Forced me to analyze my own habits.

These three instances all had an impact on me and always kept the prospect of biking in the back of my head. Now it is up to me to turn my anecdotes into action.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The trailer has arrived!

I picked up my new BOB trailer today and rode home with it. It looks incredibly sturdy and with no weight in it is quite maneuverable. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune when riding downhill with 70 lbs of stuff packed on it! But that joy is yet to come. For now I need to figure out how to distill my life down to approximately 100 - 130 liters of stuff. Going from owning a three bedroom house to riding around with a bike trailer is a bit of a transition. I'll let you know what makes the cut.

And, Jon, yes of course we need to find a miniature pirate flag!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My trusty steed

Well I take this opportunity to unveil my latest stupid idea. With my impending limitless free time, I am planning to take a road trip around the US, connecting friends with climbing areas along the way. My original plan called for living out of the back of my pickup truck. But that would be too easy, no?
Those of you who know me are well aware that I like a challenge (read: make life difficult for myself).  So I have decided to tour on a bicycle instead of taking the truck.  Pictured is the Surly Long Haul Trucker that I picked up from Freeze/Thaw Cycles today   Beyond seeing that it is blue, I really don't know much about the bike.  Bike geeks lament!  But I would say that it is safe to say that I will learn a bit about it whether I want to or not.  This bike coupled with a trailer and some racks/bags is going to transport me, my climbing gear and a fifth of Wild Turkey around North America.

This plan is still in the beginning stages and I know that I have a lot to figure out yet.  But I am committed to the idea, so stay tuned for what transpires.  I only shell out that sort of money for immense physical torture or for evening company (but then again, those two could go hand in hand...).